Belize is a Central American country, which has close ties with the United States. English is the official language here, while Spanish is widely spoken. It is a small country with few resources and has to make the most of what’s available. Online gambling is a big source of revenue for the Belize government.
Belize is much more than an online gambling hub – it is also home to three or four very famous land-based casinos. The fact that Belize is so close to the United States really helps. The casinos of Belize attract a steady stream of visitors from the United States.
Belize is a lovely tourist destination and attracts a very good share of tourists from the US. Most Americans who came here for a pleasant vacation, make it a point to play at the land-based casinos here, where they participate in a number of slot games and table games.
Online Gambling Laws in Belize
Belize has been promoting online gambling for more than two decades now. The Computer Wagering Licensing Act of 1995 regularized online gambling in Belize and made the tiny nation a household name in the online gambling community worldwide. There are a number of online casinos that operate out of Belize.
There was another online gambling regulation introduced in 2004 which made it easier for gambling operators to register with the Belize Gaming Commission. A Belize Gambling License can be obtained for just $15,000 to $50,000.
The 2004 regulation has made it mandatory for customer service facilities of online casinos based out of Belize to be located within the country. But the servers can be located anywhere. This is something that works to the advantage of most gambling companies with a Belize Gaming License.
But here’s a caveat – any online casino based out of Belize and which has a Belize gambling license cannot accept players from within Belize. The reason is Belize wants to discourage its citizens from gambling online.
This should not be an issue as a vast majority of the players that participate in Belize casinos are from Asia, North America, and Europe. An overwhelming majority of the players at Belize casinos come from Asia in particular.
Casinos based out of Belize have been a major revenue churner for the tiny Central American nation. So it is fully in the interest of the Belize government to promote their country as an ideal hub for all online gambling related activities.
Belize Online Gambling License
The first Belize online gambling license was the Computer Wagering Licensing Act of 1995. This was followed by the Regulations of the Gaming Control Act, Revised Edition 2000. A number of new regulations were added to the Gaming Control Act of 2000. This led to the development of the Gaming Control (Online Gaming) Regulations Act, which was launched in October 2004.
The administration of the online gambling industry based out of Belize is conducted by the Gaming Control Board, which is directly controlled by the Government of Belize. All rules in place are according to the stipulations laid out by the Gaming Control (Online Gaming) Regulations.
Gambling operators applying for a Belize Gaming License should apply directly to the Gaming Control Board of the Government of Belize. Once the license is given, it is valid for a period of 12 months. Following this, the license is renewed on receipt of a renewal fee from the online casino.
The entire application process is quite efficient and done online. The whole procedure takes about 6 to 8 weeks. In case the internet gaming operator is not granted a license at the end of this period, the initial application fee is refunded to them.
The Gaming Control Board of the Government of Belize takes the protection of players who participate in casinos licensed in Belize very seriously. They make sure to carry out comprehensive background checks on all online casino companies that want to operate from Belize, and monitor them closely even after the granting of the license.